May 1, 2017
May 1, 2017 will be the culmination of three years of planning. In late 2015 we purchased a small winery in Napa Valley, Calistoga called Lava Vine Winery, and immediately drew up plans to turn this into a state-of-the-art winemaking and hospitality center for our brands. We are on the tail end of an 8-month construction project, taken on during what may turn out to be the wettest winter California has experienced in recorded history. As I sit in my office, one week from our self-imposed deadline, the building is shaking with grading equipment repaving the parking lot, destroyed by heavy equipment and saturated soils. However with each shake, we are one parking space closer to completion.
Over my 26 years on Diamond Mountain and my first two years at Lava Vine, I have met so many passionate fans of both our brands. We have undertaken the merging of the two brands with a goal of allowing both brands to shine. It is our goal that they complement each other and not compete.
Under the von Strasser label, we will focus only on Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Currently our supply continues to be exclusively Diamond Mountain District, however in 2016 we signed a five year contract with Stagecoach Vineyard on Pritchard Hill, and are looking for one or two other heritage vineyard sources to augment the portfolio.
Under the lava Vine label, we have decided to remove Cabernet Sauvignon from the mix altogether, so as to not have any overlap, and focus on what the winery was known for: alternative varietals and appellations. Look for a core of bottlings of Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on the red side, with Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Rosé on the white side. However this is only a small sampling: in reality we will bottle almost 20 different Lava Vine wines this year.
One of the reasons that we were so keen on this new location is that our Calistoga use-permit allows us to see many more people, and have many more events, than we could on Diamond Mountain. Please make an effort to drop in next time you visit Napa valley and share our new home and wines with us. Our goal is to make this new experience, and the quality of our wines, better than they ever have been. Many of the same faces that you have seen over the years at both locations will continue to be here to greet you. We all look forward to creating new memories together with you.
Rudy von Strasser